November 14, 2006
We are delighted to announce that Jody Williams, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, has agreed to be a keynote speaker at the 2007 Peace Conference. Ms. Williams is the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which was formally launched by six nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in October of 1992. Ms. Williams has overseen the growth of the ICBL to more than 1,000 NGOs in more than sixty countries. She has served as the chief strategist and spokesperson for the campaign. Working in a unprecedented cooperative effort with governments, UN bodies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the ICBL achieved its goal of an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines during the diplomatic conference held in Oslo in September 1997.
In her capacity as ICBL coordinator, she has written and spoken extensively on the problem of landmines and the movement to ban them. Prior to beginning the ICBL, Ms. Williams worked for eleven years to build public awareness about U.S. policy toward Central America. From 1986 to 1992, she developed and directed humanitarian relief projects as the deputy director of the Los Angeles-based Medical Aid for El Salvador. From 1984 to 1986, she was co-coordinator of the Nicaragua-Honduras Education Project, leading fact-finding delegations to the region. Previously, she taught English as a Second Language (ESL) in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Washington, D.C.